How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Yuma AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Yuma AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Yuma AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Yuma AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Yuma AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Yuma AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.